December housing market ends on an uptick, as does 2017

December’s median sales prices are up, as are the sales prices for the year.

W.Scott McGill / Adobe Stock

The housing market in Northern Virginia remains strong, though homebuyers looking in the lower- to mid-level price ranges found fewer options and more competition.

“The ongoing inventory squeeze primarily affects buyers in the lower and mid-level price ranges, with millions among the largest generation in U.S. history—millennials—reaching the stage in life when people form families and buy homes,” said Larry “Boomer” Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate in a press release. “In the luxury space, there’s plenty of inventory, but entry-level homes, that’s tougher,” he said. “There’s no way to build quick enough to meet the demand, and baby boomers are staying in their homes longer than they ever have.”

Industry outlook sees this trend continuing into 2018, and professionals are keeping an eye on how the new tax legislation will affect the housing market.

“It’s hard not to be concerned about that,” Foster said. “But I think people buy homes for reasons other than the tax breaks they might get. They buy homes for the security of having something that’s their own, to have an appreciating asset, to have a place to raise kids and grow their families in.”

In December, there was a decrease of homes sold since the same time last year, and active listings decreased by about 17 percent. Though, the average home sale price increased to $591,005, up 3.54 percent. And the median sale price came in at $510,000, a 5.15 percent increase.

For the overall region in 2017, each month’s median sales price was higher year-over-year, according to Bright MLS, and every month’s median sales price was the highest monthly level of the decade.

December 2017 NoVA Home Stats:

  • Homes sold: 1,437 ( down 7.77 percent from December 2016)
  • Average days on market: 58 (down 9.38 percent from December 2016)
  • Average home sale price: $591,005 (up 3.54 percent from December 2016)
  • Median sales price: $510,000 (up 5.15 percent from December 2016)
  • New pending home sales: 1,487 (down 11.38 percent from December 2016)
  • New listings: 860 (down 20.37 percent from December 2016)

(Source: Northern Virginia Association of Realtors)

December 2017 Metro-D.C. Stats:

  • Falls Church City remains the most expensive location in the region, with a median sales price of $725,000, up 6.8 percent from last year.
  • Median sales price: $420,050 (up 2.4 percent from December 2016)
  • New contracts: 3,314 (down 6.3 percent from last year; down 22 percent from November)
  • New listings: 2,799 (down 9.4 percent from last year; down 35 percent from November)
  • Median days-on-market: 27 days (two days lower than last year)

(Source: Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS)